President Joe Biden announced plans to begin the ‘final withdrawal’ of US forces from Afghanistan last week, with all troops expected to be pulled out of the war-torn country by the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks – which served as the pretext for the 2001 US and NATO invasion of Afghanistan.
The United States has “grave doubts” about the Taliban’s reliability amid the imminent start of the pullout of US forces from Afghanistan, United States Central Command (CENTCOM) chief Gen. Kenneth ‘Frank’ McKenzie has said.
“I have grave doubts about the Taliban’s reliability, I’ve expressed those publicly going back for a long period of time, but we need to see what they’re going to do here,” he added.
The commander indicated that the Pentagon was “looking at” options for deploying forces “outside Afghanistan to deal with a possible Taliban surge,” and that “if, say, we leave…if [the Taliban] want any form of international support, they’re going to have to keep the agreements that we’ve made.”
The commander noted that the US estimates there to be about two hundred Daesh (ISIS)* militants in Afghanistan, and said that he would be watching what the Taliban does, and not “what they say,” to keep these numbers from growing.
Acting deputy assistant secretary of defence Amanda Dory, who joined McKenzie in Tuesday’s testimony, suggested that the generation-long war in Afghanistan has been about “preventing terrorist groups from using the country to…